Just when it seemed as if first-round draft pick Lucas Nogueira would be playing in Atlanta next season, the Hawks went out and signed a 6’11” veteran big man from Europe to possibly take Nogueira’s place next season.
According to reports, the Hawks have signed foreign big man Pero Antic.
The Atlanta Hawks organization confirmed the reports via twitter:
OFFICIAL: We have signed 6'11" Republic of Macedonia center Pero Antić! Full details of the signing here: http://t.co/zzXrgQMl9H
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) July 25, 2013
Here’s some information on Antic, courtesy of Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Antic, 6-foot-11, 260 pounds, played in the Greek League the past two seasons. He helped Olympiacos to consecutive Euroleague championships.
A native of present-day Macedonia, Antic has played professionally since 1999 in his home country, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Russia.
Antic, who turns 31 Monday, served as captain of the Macedonia national team that reached the semifinals of EuroBasket 2011.
In the Euroleague, Antic played in 31 games (four starts) and averaged 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in 18 minutes.
The signing of Antic means two things:
1. The Hawks will likely not pursue to re-sign fan favorite Ivan Johnson.
2. Danny Ferry has a big choice to make regarding Nogueira. Does he keep the 7-foot Brazilian center (aka Bebe) on the bench in Atlanta, or send him overseas to polish his skills while also keeping his contract off the Hawk’s books for next season?
Letting Ivan go might be tough for fans to deal with, but don’t think that Pero Antic doesn’t have the same “antics” that Ivan the Terrible did.
Now to Bebe: My heart really wants to see him play in a Hawks uniform this year, but I don’t know if my brain agrees. Nogueira needs to get stronger and grow into a definite offensive role.
We’ll have to see what Danny Ferry & Co. do with Bebe and the rest of the bench.